FAO: Poor Quality Standards Danger to Food Security

James Emejo in Abuja

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Country Representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr. Fred Kafeero, has said the organisation remained committed to ensuring the supply of safe, quality, and nutritious foods, adding that this is as important as ensuring the availability of foods and their standardisation.

Kafeero insisted that poor-quality foods posed a real threat to national food security.

Speaking at the one-day sensitisation workshop for high-level policy and decision-makers and the public presentation of the National Codex Committee Procedural Manual in Abuja, the FAO country representative said it has been providing Nigeria with requisite support towards ensuring food safety and availability.

Kafeero was represented at the occasion by the FAO Country Assistant Representative, Mr. David Fehintola.

He said, “FAO has been supporting the National Codex Committee (NCC) in Nigeria, which has members from all the MDAS and the Private sector through the execution of the Codex Trust Fund 2 activities with a focus on the implementation of the Codex Strategic Plan 2020-2025.”

He said since the inception of CAC, FAO has worked with the World Health Organisation (WHO) in the development of international food standards, guidelines, and codes of practices to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair trade practices in the food trade using the principles of risk analysis and scientific advice provided by joint FAO/WHO expert bodies and consultations.

Kafeero added, “In Nigeria, the FAO country office with support from the regional office for Africa continues to partner with the Government of Nigeria and the National Codex Committee towards creating effective and efficient policies and strategies to eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in the country.

According to him, the NCC is saddled with the responsibility of implementing the standards of the Codex Alimentarius Commission which was established in 1963 to develop food standards, guidelines and related texts such as codes of practice under the Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme.

This came as the Director-General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Mr. Farouk Salim, commended the FAO and NCC for critical roles in the elaboration of food Standards at the international level, especially at the various committees of the Codex Alimentarius Commission where standards are adopted at the national level.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Olobayo Kunle, he said NCC had also contributed to the review of the food safety policy and food safety bill in Nigeria.

He pointed that the review of the NCC Procedural Manual was necessary to keep abreast with the growth of Codex activities over time, incorporate major changes, improve, and strengthen Codex structure in Nigeria.

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